Welcome to the next instalment of our Barcelona blog. If you didn’t read Part One, you can do so by clicking this link.
Day Two – Churches, Cats & Cocktails
Day two started with a walk down to the famous Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria for breakfast. We had wander around all the different stands selling everything from fresh fish, pastries, meat, sweets, traditional fayre, beautifully displayed fruits and juices. This is one of the busier markets for tourists in Barcelona because of its location just off La Rambla. If markets are your thing we highly recommend you check out Mercat de Sant Antoni and Mercat de Santa Caterina. Both just as incredible as La Boqueria, just not as busy !
After picking up a couple of sandwiches, some fruit and some fresh juice we headed into the Gothic Quarter. As much as we’ve been Barcelona and visited some of its many churches we have never actually been inside Barcelona Cathedral.
This place is stunning. It even has 13 of its own Geese in honour of Saint Eulalia whose body lies in the cathedral crypt. You can find these outside in the cloister courtyard. Being a church admission is obviously free but we always make sure we throw a few euro into a donation box.
Our next stop would be another one of the cities beautiful churches the Basilica of Santa Maria Del Mar. This church features in the best-selling novel La Catedral del Mar (The Cathedral of the Sea) which was then turned into a Netflix series in 2018. Fairly close by is the Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi, you should add this place to your list too. Another gorgeous church building.
All this walking and exploring made us hungry and thirsty so we decided to hit one of the Gothic Quarters many Pintxos bars. Pintxo (Pincho) is a lot different from tapas. Delicious little snacks often served with bread on a skewer or small toothpick. There are many types, some with fish, some with meat. My favourite are the ones served with a wedge of Spanish tortilla. We found a great little place called El Drac de Sant Jordi. Four sticks of food, a beer and a small Crema Catalana desert cost us €20. We filled our bellies and carried on with our day.
We finished off our afternoon of sightseeing with two other places we had not yet been to during past visits to Barcelona. The first would be the incredible mural ‘The World Begins With Every Kiss‘. Made up of thousands of photos of locals and unveiled for the 300th anniversary of Catalonia Day. We actually got lost looking for this, we pinged it with Google maps and for some reason it took us into some random side street nowhere near where we needed to be.
After about half an hour of looking around in case we actually missed it. We took to the internet once more and after some digging we found its true location. Guess where it was ? Very close to Barcelona Cathedral, it had been under our nose all the time. The mural actually stands in a small square called Plaça d’Isidre Nonell. So if you do want to visit this piece of art make a note of this.
The last place we would visit today would be the famous cat statue of Barcelona. Simply named ‘Cat‘ by Fernando Botero. It sits staring at the bottom of Rambla del Raval. Made in Botero’s typical chubby style you may have also seen his ‘Horse‘ in Terminal 2 of Barcelona airport.
Later that evening after dinner we ended up in one of our favourite places to drink in Barcelona. The famous Boadas Cocteleria, cocktail bar. After walking miles around the city during the day we definitely deserved a cocktail or two, or three…
Boadas is to be found just off La Rambla down a small side street. Said to be one of the first cocktail bars in Spain this place takes you back. Opened back in the 1930’s the bar staff here all wear smart tuxedos and ties and serve classic blends. There is a small menu to choose from (there never used to be) but ask for anything and they will make it. It has a really nice relaxed and friendly atmosphere, a place for locals and tourists alike and it doesn’t get over crowded. Perfect and highly recommended by us !
Day Three – Mi Casa es Su Casa
Our final day would be all about the Casa’s. We had a walk up to Casa Milà (La Pedrera) and took a few photos of the outside, The queues here where still quite big for the time of year so we decided to give it a miss, we have visited here before though so we were only after updating some of our photos. Another Gaudí masterpiece worth visiting just to see the incredible chimney pots on the roof !
Next, somewhere new. Casa Amatller designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch of Casa de les Punxes fame. Along with Casa Batlló and Casa Lleó Morera it makes up the cities famous Illa de la Discòrdia (The Block of Discord) for its unique and modernist style buildings. It was home to chocolatier Antoni Amatller and his family.
We chose to do the video guided tour where you are led around the house by a guide going from room to room. Here you will learn about the history of the family and their chocolate dynasty. Afterwards you get a cup of traditional Amatller hot chocolate to taste for yourself. You can buy a huge selection of chocolate from the gift shop too. We did. Its delicious.
Last but not least. Casa Batlló. Designed by yes, you’ve guessed it, Antoni Gaudí. Another notch on his ‘master of design’ headboard. We both absolutely love this building and I am such a huge fan of his work. I have books and footage online on just about everything the man has done.
The locals also affectionately call this building Casa dels Ossos (House of Bones) because of the way it looks.
Its said that the top of the building, where the middle tower, cross and bulb is, resembles a lance. The arched roof and tile works resemble the spine of a dragon. The lance being plunged into the back of the beast. Another reference to the patron saint of Catalonia, Sant Jordi.
I could honestly waffle on about Gaudí all day but I think I will leave it there for now for fear of boring you stupid ! We finish our blog with yet more food photos from a super little place we found called Ciudad Condal (Ciutat Comtal) for quality tapas. You can find it on Rambla de Catalunya in the Eixample district of the city. Worth the visit. Just look how incredible it all looks, it tasted fantastic.
I am sure we will visit Barcelona again. Its like our spiritual home. This year though we have other plans. So far in 2019 we are heading back over to Cuba in May and Sorrento in September. Who knows where else we may end up. Trips and blogs are already being planned for both destinations.
As always please leave us a comment below, did you like our blog ? Are there any places in Barcelona you love to visit ? Is Barca on your bucket list ? Let us know.
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If you would like to read part one of this blog please click here Back In Barcelona, Part One
Barcelona Tours, Tickets And Activities
There are a number of companies out there who offer tours and ways to see Barcelona. Here are two we highly recommend.
Viator. A whole host of trips, tours and excursions for Barcelona and surrounding areas. Private and custom tours, wine tasting, historic, art, food, shopping and more. Viator has everything. Click here for all the details.
Barcelona Pass. Your ultimate sightseeing pass to Barcelona. Save time and money on attraction tickets. Visit the home of FC Barcelona. Take a trip to Casa de les Punxes, La Pedrera, Casa Batlló, Poble Espanyol. Do an open top bus tour. This pass has everything. Learn more, save money on trips and travel by clicking here.